What We Do in the Shadows episode 3 review: Werewolves not swearwolves


The latest episode of FX’s What We Do in the Shadows introduces werewolves to the series, but the best part of this installment is energy vampire Colin.

The third episode of What We Do in the Shadows introduces werewolves to the supernatural community of Staten Island and it’s… fine. Perhaps, like the vampires themselves, the werewolves need some time to settle into whatever kinds of characters they’re going to be in this particular version. (Plus, their presence provides a nice bonus for fans of the film, who were doubtless waiting for a swearwolves joke that never came.)

But the best part of “Werewolf Feud” has nothing to do with the titular monsters. Instead, it’s Colin’s new office coworker that provides the most consistent laughs.

The character of Colin Robinson is an invention made specifically for the TV version of What We Do in the Shadows, and perhaps it’s the mundanity of his existence that makes him so entertaining. As an energy vampire he doesn’t feed on blood, but rather tires out his victims by talking to them.

This set-up is entertaining in and of itself – providing easy laughs whenever Colin happens to be at the office, or on a bus, or pretty much anywhere that mortals happen to exist. He harasses his colleagues with boring stories, and even tortures his housemates by banging on their coffins during the daylight hours he’s awake.

“Werewolf Feud” makes things even better by giving Colin a friend. Well, sort of.

A new employee named Evie Russell arrives in his office, who turns out to be an emotional vampire who feeds off the despondency and pity of others by telling them the saddest stories possible 24/7. She is so efficient at this that it’s affecting Colin’s ability to feed himself. (No one can listen to his dull office chatter if they’re watching a sad YouTube video about puppies, can they?)

The two end up in an office duel – hilariously staged as they both levitate in the air, shouting boring factual statements and elaborate sob stories at one another. This entire subplot feels fresh and funny, and it’s something What We Do in the Shadows should lean into more heavily.

Incapable of defeating one another, Colin and Evie ultimately decide to join forces, and hunt together. They even end up dating for a hot second, until Colin decides that their togetherness just isn’t healthy for him. This is all, of course, a shame, because their scenes together are just so smartly droll. Plus, What We Do in the Shadows really does need some more female characters – especially since Nadja’s new friend Jenna from “City Council” appears to have vanished or died.

Just imagine Evie meeting Nandor and Lazzlo. Comedy gold.

The werewolf plot itself is pretty straightforward. Lazzlo discovers a werewolf has been peeing on his elaborate decorative topiary sculptures, sets a trap and almost inadvertently starts a war.

See, the thing is, the vampires and werewolves have been living under an uneasy truce since 1993 – mostly because it appears they were all too lazy to really bother breaking it.

The werewolves are presented as ridiculously as the vampires are, complete with super speed and supposedly exaggerated healing abilities. But they aren’t particularly menacing, and their primary attack on the vampire compound involves, once again, peeing on things.

Their chaotic group dynamic — they’re hilariously disorganized, but oddly do seem like actual friends? — is entertaining, and the inevitable Twilight joke about how all werewolves are Native American like Jacob in the books is actually surprisingly funny.

However, the confrontation/fight scene is ridiculous and far too long.

Nandor’s posturing over weaponry fits his character, but there’s honestly just too many pointless catcalls and threats. How much hissing and growling at one another do we need? We get it, you’re mortal supernatural enemies.

It goes on for so long that it almost kills the climactic moment in which Nandor saves the day by choosing a chew toy as his weapon and defeating the werewolf by using it to trick him into jumping off the roof of the abandoned Circuit City they’re on.

(Sidebar: Dear show, this is the second week in a row in which the vampires have left the house for a different location and the episode is better for it. Keep it up!)

By the end of the episode, the status quo is largely back to normal. Lazzlo is rebuilding his destroyed erotic topiary, the vampires have vanquished the werewolves, and Colin’s on his own again.

But at least there aren’t any random dropped plot threads from this week – looking at you, Nadja’s two random human obsessions – and that feels like a step forward, too.

Will we see the werewolves again? Here’s hoping. One gets the feeling they might fare a little better a second time around.

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What We Do in the Shadows continues next Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX.